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Old 09-01-2021, 05:32 PM   #1  
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Question Too many inks to choose from...HELP

So for the longest time, I used SU ink pads for stamping. No particular reason why. They were just what I started out using. I recently did a major purge and sold all of it. So now I'd like to get some new ink but I have no idea what to get. I've had my eye on Distress Oxide inks but not sure if I can use those for just plain stamping. I did buy some Altenew cubes to try out their ink. I do like the way they stamp. Just overwhelmed by all of the choices. Any advice?
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Old 09-02-2021, 11:27 AM   #2  
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You can do regular stamping with Distress Oxide inks, but they're really more meant for blending and other techniques. My suggestion (for what it's worth) is to try cubes or minis (like you did the Altenew) and see what you like. For the most part, I stamp with cubes, but I have full-size pads in favorite colors for inking up background stamps. For the most part, I use all my brands of dye inkpads interchangeably and only worry about getting the color I want.

Mostly what you need is a good black inkpad - or two, one that won't run with water media, and one that can stand up to alcohol ink, if you want to color with Copics. For colored, go with whatever brand has colors you like, or go with a mix of a bunch of brands, in colors you like. The colors are the most important thing

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Old 09-05-2021, 04:01 AM   #3  
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I just bought a set of 8 Catherine Pooler minis and love the vibrancy of the color and the coverage.

I have a mix of Distress, Distress Oxide, Altenew, and Memento—with a few Hero Arts, Simon Says, MFT, and Gina K thrown in. My faves are Memento and these new Catherine Pooler inks (though I should probably use them a little more before deciding).
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Old 09-05-2021, 05:48 AM   #4  
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I love Catherine Pooler inks because you can watercolor with them AND stamp regular. And I also have Distress Oxides and love them too!! Those are the only color inks I have now and they do everything as far as I am concerned!!
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Old 09-05-2021, 06:05 AM   #5  
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I think that dye inks are all pretty much the same formula. There are only a few manufacturers, and the various companies buy from them and have their company name printed on the covers. If you look at the cases, you'll see the same shapes and designs. I shop by color.
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Old 09-05-2021, 10:01 AM   #6  
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I feel your pain. Feels like EVERY company now has it's own inks.

Inks are kind of a long topic bc of that. You might want to watch some vids, like Jen McGuire, etc when they talk about inks and how they use them to help you.

I am going to make this a consideration list to help you zero in on what you want from the inks when talking about the dye inks. Hope this helps you to focus your mind. I know I was all over the place overwhelmed years ago and I had far fewer choices.

1) Do you like to coordinate product (ie SU)? Some companies do that like SU did. I think Taylored Expressions does for one. Some companies might have both dye and pigment in the same colors.

2) If going with minis I would personally want a company with ink refills. I do that anyway with big pads bc I use them for other things-like you can watercolor with them.

3) Do you like to do layered stamping/stenciling, esp florals? Then companies with color families might be the way to go. Altenew and Catherine Pooler have that for starters.

4) I would not suggest you have the "I want it all" attitude about inks-companies can have over 100 of them. I am with Scrapjenny-when it comes to dyes I go by color.

5) Keep in mind with dyes-your paper matters. How it will allow the ink to absorb. (not so much with pigments since they sit on the surface imho) If you really like one kind of paper, getting a sample color from assorted companies may be a good idea to see how they work on it.

6) What colors do you gravitate toward? Blues, pinks.....all of them? What about bright vs pastel or all of them? The color range of a company may not suit you.

7) What techniques do you like to do? For example do you color and with what? Some inks resist water and some alcohol and a few do both (hybrids) . The both is of interest most to people in the blacks and there are vids about this I suggest you look at. Not all hybrids are equal.

Pigments-
1) are a lot of fun. You can heat emboss with them and use clear EP and not have to have a lot of embossing powders. Also makes them more blendable. But again, this is tied in to paper a bit. Some lend themselves to blending more than others.
2) Metallics may need to be hit with the heat gun to dry even if their other colors don't need that.

Distress inks-
Started with the dyes. Then TH moved to the Oxides. Oxides are not like other pigments. They blend like butter but they also have a chalky look and come in a particular color range for his taste in a distressed look. Don't look for too many brights there.

However TH has built a large collection of product for each color...dye, oxide, spray paints, etc.

Inks are not a small investment. I would sit down and figure out what YOU want from the inks. Then if you have a question like " I want an ink that does this; I like to do these techniques-what do you suggest?" we can better answer that

I know I said watch vids...I avoid ones that are very long when researching product. I just want to cut to the chase esp when I know I am going to look at multiples to get a sense of many people-I don't want to watch them make 10 cards with it-1 or 2 is ok. So check for that.

Remember: there is NO rule that says you can't have a mixed bag of inks. Many of us do.
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Old 09-07-2021, 08:28 AM   #7  
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Margot,
This is a great explanation of how to select inkpads. I have used this explanation for beginners on how to select Copic colors. It wasn’t until now that I realized your explanation applies to many tools that we use in our craftroom. It’s a personal choice that relates to our style of crafting. Thank you!

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Old 09-07-2021, 08:52 AM   #8  
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Great advice all around and there are a number of great instruction videos out there. Here's my two cents' worth - I tend to buy darker colors, and with stamping off I get one, maybe two, shades of that color. I tend to research the inks because there are too many to choose from. Like the others, I have a variety of inks and replace my cheaper inks when they dry out with name brands. I, too, like the mini's. I buy SU's mini pads for self-inking and I can use whatever ink I want on them. I don't want to spend a lot of $ on a brand that may not work for me, but I do buy the reinkers once I decide that I like the ink and the color. My favorite black ink for regular stamping is Versafine Onyx Black, because it's precise stamping with clear lines. I've purchased several of their inks because of their high quality. It's a great ink to use for embossing because it stays wet longer. It's all trial and error. Keep us posted on how you do.
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Old 09-07-2021, 09:49 AM   #9  
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You already got a lot of good info. I would just add that one difference to consider is felt vs foam pads. Some people think foam ink pads are too juicy. I bought 2 Concord and 9th cubes (foam) to compare. I don't find them too juicy. I do find that they produce a crisper line. That being said, you have to look at the 2 images side by side to see that one is slightly blurred.
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Old 09-07-2021, 03:37 PM   #10  
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I've been stamping for years and my tastes change as new products come to market...specifically the Distress inks...both regular and Oxides. So now I have a bunch of those...EVERYONE loves them..especially the Oxides as they blend so easily! However, there are times one needs some brighter colors or a change of pace.... Did some research, and found Catherine Pooler inks. I bought a group of her mini's and having great fun! Still have some Memento, Hero Arts and Altenew (not so crazy about their colors or the way they ink sometimes).
Don't plunge in...buy a few and test them out with what YOU want to do! Inks are pricey, especially when paying shipping costs and it's annoying to be unhappy...LOL! And as others have said, you don't have to be loyal to one company...ever!
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Old 09-07-2021, 08:54 PM   #11  
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Thanks Veronica Just paying it forward. A consolidation of tips I have read here as well as learned the hard way.
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Old 09-08-2021, 04:38 AM   #12  
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I gave up most of my "regular" size ink pads and pretty much only use ink cubes now. I think the hardest part was trying to decide which company's ink cubes to buy. I ended up going with Gina K's, although I did buy all of the Memento cat's eyes pads and almost all of the Hero Arts ink cubes too. <insert eye roll> I couldn't decide. However, I now only use the Gina K cubes and have also purchased the ink refills for all the Gina K cubes. I also have the larger Gina K amalgam ink pad in whatever color name is her black. That ink works with alcohol markers and watercolor markers/paint without smearing. I think it also works if you are using regular colored pencils and Gamsol.

While I "should" purge the other companies' cubes, I think I'll keep them so that if I'm traveling or something, maybe I could bring the "other" cubes to use so that I don't lose my good cubes. (Or maybe I'm just a hoarder...)

Edited: I waited until Gina K had a sale when I bought most of the cubes, and then again when I bought the reinkers. She just had a 15% off labor day sale where I bought the remaining reinkers that I didn't have. (They were out of stock so I added them to a wishlist to find them easier.)
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Old 09-08-2021, 07:36 AM   #13  
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I have found that different types of ink pads work better on the different stamps too. I think the foam pads work best on photopolymer stamps but they are good on regular rubber. I have a lot of Stampin' Up ink pads and like the coordination with the cardstock and DSP. I will make my own cubes with reinkers in colors I use the most and plan to use with my stamping platform. Way less mess. Over the years I have tried many black inks but there have are two that are always on my work surface, Versafine Onyx Black and Memento Tuxedo Black. Can't beat the Versafine for detailed stamps and the Memento is great for Copics plus I've found it really is easy to clean your stamps after using it.
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Old 10-01-2021, 07:05 AM   #14  
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thank you for your suggestions!
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Old 10-01-2021, 07:06 AM   #15  
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I love Memento Tuxedo Black. I need to try the Versafine one. Thank you!
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Old 10-01-2021, 07:07 AM   #16  
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I've been looking into the Catherine Pooler ones. Thank you for the suggestion!
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Old 10-01-2021, 07:08 AM   #17  
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Interesting observation! You are quite the sleuth lol
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Old 10-01-2021, 07:12 AM   #18  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by KimberlyinMNForums at Splitcoaststampers
I gave up most of my "regular" size ink pads and pretty much only use ink cubes now. I think the hardest part was trying to decide which company's ink cubes to buy. I ended up going with Gina K's, although I did buy all of the Memento cat's eyes pads and almost all of the Hero Arts ink cubes too. <insert eye roll> I couldn't decide. However, I now only use the Gina K cubes and have also purchased the ink refills for all the Gina K cubes. I also have the larger Gina K amalgam ink pad in whatever color name is her black. That ink works with alcohol markers and watercolor markers/paint without smearing. I think it also works if you are using regular colored pencils and Gamsol.

While I "should" purge the other companies' cubes, I think I'll keep them so that if I'm traveling or something, maybe I could bring the "other" cubes to use so that I don't lose my good cubes. (Or maybe I'm just a hoarder...)

Edited: I waited until Gina K had a sale when I bought most of the cubes, and then again when I bought the reinkers. She just had a 15% off labor day sale where I bought the remaining reinkers that I didn't have. (They were out of stock so I added them to a wishlist to find them easier.)
I have never purchased anything from Gina K. I might have to try her inks too. I know many people swear by her white cardstock too. Thank you for your suggestions!
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Old 10-01-2021, 07:20 AM   #19  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by mphbForums at Splitcoaststampers
I've been stamping for years and my tastes change as new products come to market...specifically the Distress inks...both regular and Oxides. So now I have a bunch of those...EVERYONE loves them..especially the Oxides as they blend so easily! However, there are times one needs some brighter colors or a change of pace.... Did some research, and found Catherine Pooler inks. I bought a group of her mini's and having great fun! Still have some Memento, Hero Arts and Altenew (not so crazy about their colors or the way they ink sometimes).
Don't plunge in...buy a few and test them out with what YOU want to do! Inks are pricey, especially when paying shipping costs and it's annoying to be unhappy...LOL! And as others have said, you don't have to be loyal to one company...ever!
Ugh that is so true! I was very into the matchy matchy (cardstock, ink, markers, etc). I was an SU demo for a hot minute then I discovered this site and started hearing about all of the other companies. I very quickly realized I did not want to be married to one company! But I already had the SU inks, reinkers and markers so I kept using them. I do like to have a good color selection but realize I don't need 4+ shades of one color. So I sold my SU stuff and started looking around for different inks. I am leaning toward the Distress Oxides but will also check out the Catherine Pooler inks as well.
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Old 10-10-2021, 11:04 AM   #20  
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You can stamp with Oxides, and even with regular Distress inks. These inks are invaluable for techniques, you will want some of either or both in your collection. I started with the Distress inks years ago, and only have added my favorite colors in Oxide. I love how well the size of the pad works with my stamp platform. I bought Altinew in the cubes because I liked the color families and the cubes were more affordable than the full pad. I felt like I would stick to one company so I would not duplicate colors from different companies Good luck whatever you decide.
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